Summary and book reviews of Tamar by Mal Peet

Tamar

A Novel of Espionage, Passion, and Betrayal

by Mal Peet

Tamar by Mal Peet
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  • First Published:
    Jan 2007, 432 pages
    Paperback:
    Sep 2008, 432 pages

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Book Summary

When her grandfather dies, Tamar inherits a box containing a series of clues and coded messages. Out of the past, another Tamar emerges, a man involved in the terrifying world of resistance fighters in Nazi-occupied Holland half a century before. His story is one of passionate love, jealousy, and tragedy set against the daily fear and casual horror of the Second World War -- and unraveling it is about to transform Tamar’s life forever.

From acclaimed British sensation Mal Peet comes a masterful story of adventure, love, secrets, and betrayal in time of war, both past and present.

The air shook; you could feel it. And the noise was unbelievable. It is probable that humans had never heard anything like it, since it was perhaps the sound of the planet giving birth to its mountains, of raw young continents grating together. In the fields of southern England, animals panicked and continued to panic because the noise would not stop. At a stables in Buckinghamshire, every horse kicked out the door of its stall and bolted. Near Mildenhall, in Suffolk, a line of military vehicles came to a halt, and men tumbled out of the trucks to stare at the sky. A doctor, driving with his head out of the window to look upwards, ran into the back of the convoy and was killed instantly.

It was Sunday 17th September, the middle of the morning. People were in church. The pulsing downward beat of the noise overwhelmed their hymns. Choirs gave up. In Westminster Abbey the vast sound of the organ was drowned by it. Men, women, and children went into the streets and gazed up, ...

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Reviews

BookBrowse Review

BookBrowse

Tamar is an wonderful meld of fact and fiction. Based in Second World War Holland, it is an amazing tale of romance, espionage and betrayal. Tamar keeps you second guessing what is happening until the end. Tamar makes you feel as if you are in the Second World War, experiencing the horrors of raids and rationing. Overall Tamar is an astounding book. It also made me really think about the arguments and counter arguments for each situation. I would recommend it to people above the age of 12. - Thomas (aged 14).   (Reviewed by BookBrowse Review Team).

Full Review (586 words).

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Media Reviews

Publishers Weekly

[A] complex tale about how war casualties can keep accruing, generations after the battle ends.

KLIATT

This is a demanding, carefully written story, with dreadful details of betrayal and violence.

Kirkus Reviews

Readers will be torn: They'll want to slow down and savor the gorgeously detailed prose, but speed up to find out what happens next. Simply superb.

VOYA

Filled with compelling and deeply disturbing images of the horrors of war, the feelings and questions raised by this winner of the prestigious Carnegie Medal will remain with the reader long after the last page has been turned.

School Library Journal

Starred Review. This is an extraordinary, gripping novel.

Booklist

Starred Review. [T]his powerful story will grow richer with each reading.

The Guardian

As fine a piece of storytelling as you are likely to read this year.

Reader Reviews

Kristina Maher

A Gripping Story
Tamar is a moving story. It brings back in time into the second world war and makes you feel like you are living through it. The authors use of detail is impeccable and the way the author wrote the story allows you to personally relate to it. ...   Read More

Dalton

Super Awesome Book!
I love this book, it's a real keeper. I just got it at the library and now I'm gonna buy it just to keep around and maybe read again. I say it should be a book we have to read in school.

Kristi

Wow
This is an absolutely amazing book!

Palm Tree

Best Book I've Ever Read!
I loved this book! It is indeed the best book I've ever read. I will never forget it. Young Fiction is such a degrading category to put such a beautiful book in.

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Beyond the Book

About the Author

Keeper, Mal Peet's debut novel for teens was published in October 2003; it won the Branford Boase Award and a Nestlé Children's Book Award. Tamar is his second book for teens. It won the Carnegie Medal* shortly after being published in the UK in 2005, and has recently been released in the USA. His third book, The Penalty, a follow up to Keeper, was published in the UK in 2006 and in the USA last month (Aug 2007).

After university, Peet tried to teach but "quit and went on ...

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